Luno, the popular exchange owned by Digital Currency Group, announced a large round of job cuts on Wednesday.
The layoffs will affect 35% of Luno’s total headcount, CEO Marcus Swanepoel announced in a message on the crypto exchange’s website. They come after what Swanepoel described as an “incredibly tough year for the broader tech industry and in particular the crypto market.”
Over the past year, some popular cryptocurrencies have seen their prices fall sharply. Bitcoin, for example, is down nearly 39% over the past 12 months, while Ethereum and Solana have dropped about 37% and 74%, respectively.
“Turbulence” has, according to Swanepoel, affected Luno’s “overall growth and revenue numbers,” prompting layoffs and other measures.
He pointed to a “number of unforeseen and very extreme events,” including a “global economic downturn,” an “even bigger downturn in the tech sector overall,” a “crypto winter” and recent events in the crypto industry that have harmed it. One of the “shocks” was the recent, rapid collapse of exchange FTX.
FTX has been engaging in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings since it filed to do so a couple of months ago. In connection to the firm and its sudden collapse, founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has since been hit with a slew of criminal charges to which he has pleaded not guilty.
Such events “in turn [have] impacted us indirectly in a number of ways: on the capital side, a significantly more constrained funding environment, with the market’s focus shifting from long term investment to shorter term profitability, and on the operating side, a negative impact on market sentiment and consequently on growth and revenue for our business, along with all of our peers and competitors,” Swanepoel told employees.
Luno’s customers and operations have not been impacted, according to the CEO.
In addition to the tough news for the Luno team, a shock resignation has reverberated throughout the company. Timothy Stranex, a co-founder and current CTO at the company, has confirmed he will be leaving.
Africa GM Marius Reitz says the exit was a planned one years in the making, and has been managed excellently. Stranex will be replaced by former VP of Engineering Simon Ince.
Other companies in the industry have recently made announcements about reducing their workforce following a bumpy year for crypto.
Crypto.com revealed plans to slash 20% of its employees in mid-January. Earlier in the month, Coinbase said 20% of its workers would be laid off.
In late November, Kraken cut roughly 1,100 jobs.